The Daily

The Dewey Decimal Classification System: Now I Get It (Forty Years Gone By).

Imagine a building.

The building is piled with treasure … floor upon floor of the stuff.

Now, at the entrance of the building … Imagine hidden messages typed onto thousands of cards. Clues kept in cabinets … dots, dashes, letters and numbers that appear random but are secretly slave to a pattern you must learn … all under the watchful eye of an eighty-year-old oracle. But rather than help with the ciphers, she yells at you because everyone knows the treasure is here. She is tired of helping. Now she’s more dragon than eighty-year-old woman.

Doesn’t that sound fun? Isn’t it how Harry Potter went viral?

For those not in the know (perhaps you were born in this century), the #DDS “is a proprietary library classification system which allows new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on the subject.” The internet could learn a thing or two from Melvile Dewey. There’s something to be said for putting things in their proper place rather than just leaving them strewn all over the place where any fool could trip over them.

Though it was invented in 1876 and has been untouched since 2011, I’m bringing it back … like Kiss on their twentieth final tour.

I  can hear you all the way in the back. And no – there doesn’t appear to be great clamoring for a return to #DDS and the cardex. I get it – stuff has an expiration date and progress happens. Truly, I get it. I can never unsee what happened from the fifth row when a broken hoist had Gene Simmons stuck in the air over me in 2010 for what seemed like half an hour. Some things seem great at the time but don’t age well.

When you take the junk and mix it with the good stuff and just throw it down in a pile … well, you know what you get: Reality TV. Internet searches are like a dragnet across the bottom of the ocean – no telling what you might dredge up.

But not the #DDS. After a few decades with the internet, #DDS is winkin’ atcha … suggestively muttering, “How do you like me now?”